“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek
Everton Park in Liverpool, a disused sewage works in Scotland, a former steelworks in Wales and a patch of land between two housing estates in Northern Ireland have something in common.
They were all unused spaces. And now they are wildlife havens- full of colour, transformed with pollinator friendly wild flowers and plants by the people who live there.
These large scale regeneration flagship projects across the UK are run by the communities that surround them and rely on the willingness of local people to come together and offer their time to help the environment and improve their areas for the people who live there too. They have inspired communities, friends, neighbours and individuals to appreciate wild flowers for their importance to nature, well-being and wildlife.
With funding from Grow Wild, which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund and is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, so far over 150,000 square meters of previously unused land has been transformed with wildflowers (that’s enough wildflowers for a meter wide path, stretching all the way to the edge of space).
The transformation of the spaces hasn’t been easy, and has only been possible thanks to people taking positive action together to improve their area. The work is often done by people who have never done gardening before in their lives, who are driven by the power of community spirit and a positive attitude towards change to improve their surroundings and the environment.
Volunteers at the flagship sites have said the project in their area “brings people together from different backgrounds, different beliefs” and that “it’s a way of showing people this is what we can do if we work together.”
And show us they have. Check out this stunning time-lapse footage across the four flagship projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland created over the last year: